Tag recapture rates in new and exploratory Dissostichus spp. fisheries in the southern Indian Ocean sector of the CCAMLR area are examined. In particular, the potential for tagging programs in new and exploratory fisheries to yield sufficient data to be of use in determining TAC’s in the early stages of fishery development is considered. Scenarios are developed using a range of tag release rates, tag detection rates, natural mortality, fish movement out of the fishery, and IUU removals in order to estimate the expected numbers of tag returns. Even under “worst case” assumptions, tag recaptures are still expected to be considerably higher than currently observed in Divisions 58.4.1 and 58.4.2. If current tag recapture rates continue, tag-based assessments of stock status 58.4.1 and 58.4.2 are likely to remain uncertain in the short to medium term, and fishing should remain focussed in areas where tag releases have been concentrated until these uncertainties can be addressed.
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